Xinjiang was set up as an autonomous region on October 1, 1955. It has an area of more than 1.66 million square kilometers, one sixth of the total size of China and larger than any other province or autonomous region.
Surrounded by lofty mountains, Xinjiang is known far and wide as the home of fruits and melons. Its main agricultural produces include wheat, corn, cotton and plenty of fruit like Hami melon, grape, fig, Ili apple, etc. Being one of China's five major pastoral areas, it has advanced livestock breeding. It also has rich resources of petroleum, bowlder, gold and nonferrous metals